Chapter 7 – Lincosamides


Lincosamides have a mode of action similar to macrolides and pleuromutilins. The most commonly used lincosamides in swine medicine is lincomycin. It has a short withdrawal time and is efficacious against Mycoplasma spp. making it a treatment of choice for arthritis in finishing pigs. It has also shown efficacy to control enteric disorders such as proliferative enteropathy.

Useful molecule to know in swine medicine

  • Lincomycin

Mechanism of Action

Lincosamides bind to the 50S subunit of the ribosome and stop the addition of new amino-acids, inhibiting protein synthesis.

Check your learning: Lincosamides and Mechanism of Action



Lincosamides have a relatively narrow spectrum. They are effective against Gram + bacteria but tend to be ineffective against Gram – because they cannot penetrate the double-layered outer structure easily or cannot bind to the 50S subunit. They can also be used against Mycoplasma spp.


Lincosamides are lipid soluble and basic molecules that are easily absorbed in the intestinal tract, giving it a good bioavailability.


Lincosamides are lipophilic and therefore have a good tissue penetration. They also have a large Volume distribution. They can easily reach the synovial fluid which make them a good choice to treat arthritis. However, they tend to bind to plasmatic proteins preventing their propagation to the cerebro-spinal fluid.


Adverse effects

Toxicity of lincosamides is pigs is low. Some perianal reddening and mild rectal prolapse can be noted but they are reversible and stop when the treatment ends.

Because of their similar mode of action, amphenicols, lincosamides, pleuromutilins and macrolides should not be used concomitantly as they would compete against each other to bind on the 50S ribosomal subunit.


Swine Antibiotherapy Handbook Copyright © by Perle Zhitnitskiy. All Rights Reserved.

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